COOL Week students benefit local businesses


Students in Leander ISD are spending this week diving straight into the business world.

Career Opportunities On Location (COOL) is a program that matches students with businesses related to their career goals, giving them firsthand experience into a field that may very well be one they decide to stick with. 

The Hill Country News has the pleasure of three students’ company this week. Our version of job shadowing is allowing them to conduct interviews, shoot photos, write stories and come up with a design plan for their final product. The experience we are providing them is certainly useful, but we get more out of their time here than they can probably imagine.

A youthful viewpoint is especially good for our business. Listening to their ideas about their hopes for the newspaper industry is interesting and eye-opening. Essentially, they are as hopeful as we are that journalism will remain a crucial part of our society.

They understand that the way news is distributed is changing. The seniors know that social media is the only way some people get their news and they are worried that their peers might believe everything they read online. 

We learned that they value the convenience and immediacy of the news they receive, but they want the news they consume to be produced by professionals. They see through the bloggers posing as news authorities and they want others to learn how to distinguish between the sources. 

The students are fearful that there will be fewer jobs available for real journalists, but they are hopeful for the industry. Although they have lived to see the evolution of news, they are not disheartened by the changes. Having them in the office ultimately rejuvenates our staff. We love hearing their ideas and having them teach us a thing or two about the


Having COOL Week students at our office has been great and we want other local businesses to have the same opportunity. Take in some Leander ISD seniors next February and see what they can do for your industry.